As a young adult who has been in foster care, you can take advantage of programs, services and opportunities that will help provide life and work supports.

Extended foster care is a voluntary program for 18 to 21-year-olds in foster care. With the help of your case manager, you’ll have the support you need to reach your goals.

Once your application has been approved, you’ll need to:

  • agree to ongoing supervision by your case manager
  • live full-time in your approved placement
  • help participate in the development of your case plans and transition plans
  • attend judicial reviews and court hearings
  • maintain and provide verification of participation in a qualifying activity

Education

Florida provides tuition and fee exemptions to eligible young adults. The waiver is authorized at State (public) Universities, Colleges (public) in the Florida College System, and School District Workforce Education Programs. It must be a Florida Bright Futures-eligible institutionTuition and fee exemption

PESS  is a state program for eligible former foster youth to receive the skills, education, and support necessary to become self-sufficient. Depending on certain statutory conditions, if you qualify, you may be able to receive $1,256 a month to use toward applicable Education and Training Voucher (ETV) funding. Use this assistance for housing, utilities, and help with cost of living while attending a Florida Bright Futures-eligible institution.

Eligibility: Young adults who turned 18 while residing in licensed care, and who have spent a total of six months in out-of-home care, or who were adopted at age 16 or 17 or placed with a court approved guardian.

Aftercare services

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 23, aftercare services are available if you are not in extended foster care and are not receiving postsecondary education services and support (PESS). You may qualify for financial assistance and community resources that  can help you with mentoring and tutoring, mental health services and substance abuse counseling, parenting classes, money management training and  job and career skills training. Learn more

Resources and helpful links

Stay healthy

If you were in foster care at age 18 your Medicaid coverage will continue until you turn 21. You remain eligible for Medicaid until 26, but when you turn 21, you must apply for these benefits. This Medicaid coverage gives you the same opportunity for health insurance like many other young adults who are under a parent’s insurance policy until age 26.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can Family Support Services help me?

    Our goal is to improve your experience and supports services within the system of care. We’re continually working to create programs for you, advocate for your well-being, including your placement, and we can answer any questions you may have.

  • How can I get a tuition waiver?

    If you have been adopted and need a waiver please contact Vickie Simon. For all others please send requests to Vickie.simon@fssnf.org. Please allow two business days for a response.

  • How often will I need to request an updated fee waiver?

    You will need to contact your school’s business office each semester to ask that they apply your waiver on file to your courses. Schools will request a new waiver whenever a new governor is appointed for the state of Florida.

  • How will I receive payments for extended foster care and the PESS program?

    You will be issued a US Bank debit card that FSS will apply all program payments to.

  • When will I receive my monthly payments?

    All payments are processed on the 28th of the month (if the 28th falls on a weekend, payments are processed the next business day). Please allow 24 to 72 business hours for payments to show on your card.

  • If I’m in extended foster care, can I live in my own apartment?

    For young adults in extended foster care, the type of placement and the level of supervision provided must match your abilities and goals in accordance with your transition plan, and must be approved by FSS.

  • I want to apply for the PESS program, how do I know if my school is a Bright Futures-eligible institution?

    You can find a listing of all Bright Futures institutions here.

  • Can I get help getting my driver’s license?

    Yes! Through the Keys to Independence program, you can get help with details and coursework. Contact us for more information.

  • Are there opportunities to get involved within my community through Family Support Services?

    Yes! We welcome you to join our youth advisory board. This is an interactive way to gain leadership skills, engage your community, and put your experiences to use in a positive way. Contact us to learn more

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